False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

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Shemtov
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » 27 Dec 2019 06:16

This Semitic pairing really got me: :eth: ማር /mar/ "Honey" :isr: /mar/ "Bitter"
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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VaptuantaDoi
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by VaptuantaDoi » 01 Jan 2020 01:07

A large proportion of Esperanto placenames are analysable as affixed roots, and thus have two meanings —

mal- "opposite of" + avio "plane" > Malavio "not a plane / Malawi"
kat- "cat" + -aro "collection of" > Kataro "group of cats / Qatar"
ir- "go" + -ano "member" > Irano "member of going / Iran"
om- "Ohm" + -ano "member" > Omano "member of a group of Ohms / Oman"
pak- "pack" + -ist- "one who does" + -ano "member" > Pakistano "member of a group of packers / Pakistan"
sud- "south" + -ano "member" > Sudano "member of the south / Sudan"
barb- "beard" + -ado "frequent or continuous action" > Barbado "frequently being a beard / Barbados"
ĉ- "letter Ĉ" + -ado "frequent or continuous action" > Ĉado "frequently being the letter Ĉ / Chad"
gren- "cereal" + -ado "frequent or continuous action" > Grenado "frequently being cereal/ Grenada"
tri- "three" + n- "letter N" + -id- "offspring" + -ado "frequent or continuous action" > Trinidado "frequently being the child of three N's / Trinidad"
brun- "brown" + -ejo "place" > Brunejo "brown place / Brunei"
braz- "solder" + -ilo "tool" > Brazilo "soldering iron / Brazil" (the literal meaning of this one is listed in my dictionary)
dom- "house" + -ingo "holder for an object" > Domingo "house-stand / Dominican Republic"
ke- "New Zealan green parrot" + -njo "affectionate feminine suffix" > Kenjo "dear little female kea / Kenya"
est- "existence" + -ono "fraction" > Estono "an existenceth / an Estonian"
Belg- "Belgian person" + -ujo "container" > Belgujo "container of Belgians / Belgium" (and many more in -ujo)

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Zekoslav
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Zekoslav » 01 Jan 2020 09:48

A nasty one from two closely related varieties:

Štokavian što "what", eastern Kajkavian što "who"

They are completely unrelated! Eastern Kajkavian što is cognate to Štokavian (t)ko which also means "who". /kto/ > /tko/ > /ko/ vs. /kto/ > /xto/ > /ʃto/.
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GrandPiano
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by GrandPiano » 10 Jan 2020 15:23

:fr: innombrable "innumerable"
:es: innombrable "unmentionable"

(Note that these are not cognate; the former goes back to Latin numerāre "to count" while the latter goes back to Latin nōmināre "to name")
:eng: - Native
:chn: - B2
:esp: - A2
:jpn: - A2

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k1234567890y
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by k1234567890y » 24 Jan 2020 17:17

just found this:

Tagalog: titi - n. p***is

Cebuano: titi - n. A respectful term of address to any familiar older man.

Both languages are spoken in the Philippines and both languages are widely used.
I prefer to not be referred to with masculine pronouns and nouns such as “he/him/his”.

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Shemtov
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » 26 Jan 2020 01:50

:tib: /làʔ/ "yes" vs. Aramaic & :ara: /la:/ "no"
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

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Shemtov
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Shemtov » 27 Jan 2020 04:47

:jpn: 王様 /o:sama/ "King; also name of popular singer" :eng: Osama
Many children make up, or begin to make up, imaginary languages. I have been at it since I could write.
-JRR Tolkien

Salmoneus
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Re: False friends and other unfortunate coincidences

Post by Salmoneus » 27 Jan 2020 13:59

Zekoslav wrote:
01 Jan 2020 09:48
A nasty one from two closely related varieties:

Štokavian što "what", eastern Kajkavian što "who"

They are completely unrelated! Eastern Kajkavian što is cognate to Štokavian (t)ko which also means "who". /kto/ > /tko/ > /ko/ vs. /kto/ > /xto/ > /ʃto/.
I think this sort of thing happens more often than might be expected with Indo-European interrogatives, demonstratives, prepositions and the like. The daughter languages innovated a bunch of different meanings for only-very-slightly-different forms (often case forms or gender forms) of particles that already had very little actual material in them. Once you mess around with sound changes, the forms are so close that you can often get them swapping places and the like.

Over in the cognates thread, someone's pointed out an example of the confusions resulting from Latin 'per' and 'pro', for instance, and no doubt somewhere in this thread someone has mentioned German vs English wer/who and wo/where.

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